Saturday, June 6, 2009

Destination Weddings and Druppy Britches

Wedding & Reception: Groom's Family Home, Daphne, AL

Saturday morning, 6:30am (ok, 6:45am really because I have to hit my snooze at least 3 times before finally getting out of bed), I was very rudely woken by my cell phone alarm - which, btw, is the ONLY alarm I've ever used that doesn't make me want to throw it across the room when it goes off. Morning person? Not so much...

Anyway, it is my goal in life to NOT have to wake before 8:00am, especially on a weekend, unless I'm going on vacation and then maybe. However, I had to make an exception today as I was being picked up at 7:30am for a quick trip to Daphne, AL for a wedding. For those of you who don't know, Daphne is about 4 1/2 hours southwest of Birmingham and it's on Mobile Bay.
After a nutritional breakfast at McDonald's, we were on our way. Naturally, I think I talked for more than 200 miles of the 260 mile trip, a feat, I know. I think I'm making up for the many times my dad introduced me by saying (verbatim), "This is Keri, she's shy."

During one stretch-our-legs stops (aka bathroom breaks), a door sign immediately caught my attention. (see picture)

At first glance, I thought "what in the world are druppy pants"? Then, just as quickly, the "ahhhhh" part. They mean droopy. Right? Surely....

12:30pm: Destination reached. After checking into the hotel, followed by a quick lunch and a 30 minute resting of my eyes, we headed to the wedding venue. The wedding was taking place at the father of the G's private bayside resort, AHEM, I mean home. Except this home came loaded with a swimming pool and 2 hot tubs, private 8-hole putting green, gym and bar overlooking the bay, private beach and large boathouse, just to give you an idea. Was I envious? Must you ask... : )

In all, the wedding was beautiful, yet intimate. It was simply the B&G, 2 attendants, 2 flower girls and one ring bearer, and about 50-60 guests. In my opinion, this wedding proves that bigger isn't always better unless you're referring to the size of the boat. Ha!

After wrapping up an hour earlier than expected and the B&G are off to the Grand Hotel to start their honeymoon, I'm looking forward to a restful night back in my hotel suite complete with black out drapes and king size bed minus two bed hogging cats. Sweet dreams!

-the unofficial bride

Monday, May 18, 2009

Caution: Angry Bride Ahead

Wedding: Shades Crest Baptist Church
Reception: Hoover Country Club

So, I've decided Birmingham is the new Seattle, at least as far as rain is concerned. Personally, I'm not complaining too much because it's been great for my yard, my newly planted flowers, and most importantly, my water bill. But seriously, I'm beginning to feel the absence of natural Vitamin D from ZERO sun exposure!

On the flip side, the unexpected monsoon we've had lately (or any inclement weather for that matter), obviously, isn't ideal for a scheduled outdoor wedding as was last weekend's purposed wedding. However, the likely chance of rain wasn't necessarily the big issue that day BUT the fact that someone other than the B (not naming any names but it wasn't the innocent photographers) was consulted to make the decision to move the ceremony into the church sanctuary rather than the planned courtyard. EL PROBLEMO NUMERO UNO!

Now, it has come to my attention that no one...I repeat, NO ONE, make any drastic changes to a wedding WITHOUT TALKING TO THE BRIDE! Make a mental note, jot it down, stick it to your forehead, whatever you must do to remember this important piece of advice. Otherwise, may God be with you....and don't say I didn't warn you!

Fortunately, the storm (and I'm not referring to the weather) was short-lived and aside from the B commenting that the one thing that would make her feel better was that there would be a downfall at ceremony time, the indoor wedding turned out quite nice. Oh, and naturally, not a single drop of rain.

-the unofficial bride

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Complimentary Bride

Wedding: Gardendale First Baptist Church, Gardendale, AL
Reception: The Club, Birmingham, AL

Preface: I assisted with a bridal portrait shoot on a sunny, yet, VERY CHILLY day in February at Botanical Gardens in Birmingham. (The put your long-johns on, get your toboggan, gloves, and down-coat and try not to shiver too much because you'll get blurry pictures kind of day). Meanwhile, the B, in her sleeveless gown, was all smiles and chill bumps. The B's parents and younger sister were in tow to help with her gown and cathedral length veil during the shoot.

This particular shoot was a blast. This girl loved to have her picture taken! The B hammed it up for us and never once complained about the cold. (I secretly think she'd watched a few episodes of some modeling shoots just before the appointment or maybe had been practicing her Vogue moves in front of her mirror!) This is in stark contrast to the typical bride who simply stands there and allows us to twist and contort her body to get the right shot. Sadly, not every B is a natural. : )

Not to mention, she had beautiful, dark auburn hair, piercing blue eyes, and fair skin. B's: Do yourself a favor. Don't go to the tanning bed for color for your wedding, especially with those natural features! Fake bakes are so '90's!

Anyway, it's kind of nice to meet the B and B's family prior to the wedding. Come wedding day, you feel like old friends. Such was the case with this particular wedding.

When I entered the B's dressing room to get the usual "getting ready" pictures, the B tells me she is SO excited I'm there. Her energy level is contagious; I knew I was in for a fun day! She proceeds to tell me the "nightmare" she had the night before. I expected her to say she dreamt that it rained on her wedding day, or she feared her G wouldn't show up, or the like. Instead, her nightmare was that I was sick and was unable to photograph her wedding. Instead, Jim brought random photographer to take my place and she was devastated. What a sweet compliment! She's now topped my "world's greatest B list"! : )

-the unofficial bride

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Here goes...

While sharing stories and laughing during Emily's birthday dinner the other night, Amy jokingly mentioned I could write a book (or something to that effect) about weddings being that I'm a "professional wedding guest" by way of my position as a wedding photographer. Needless to say, I've attended my share of weddings - about 130 and counting. (I can hear my ex-boyfriend grudgingly questioning why anyone would, for whatever reason, voluntarily attend ONE wedding, much less 130! A shared opinion by many of my male friends). Nonetheless, I won't admit to having seen it all, but I have seen A LOT!

Also, the fact that I'm a thirty-three year old female yet to be married...well, I've paid attention and have made lots of UNOFFICIAL notes and comments and formed UNOFFICIAL opinions and thoughts over the years about the weddings I've attended. All of this with the expectation to use for "personal reference" in hopes of walking down the aisle myself one day...(Anyone know of any single fellas? Anyone?)...or to happily share the little bit of wedding wisdom I've gained with any soon-to-be bride. Anyway...

My "note-taking" all began with the first wedding I photographed in March of 2005 and continues today. I've created a sort of personal UNOFFICIAL running list of likes and dislikes of wedding and reception venues, bridal party gown styles and colors, flower bouquets and decor choices, bridal cake designs and tastes, to current wedding trends, etc.

Sidenote: I do have a strictly personal, unsolicited wedding vendor "favorites" list. Some are vendors I've worked closely with and respect their professionalism and work (Jim, of course you're included in this group); some I may not have personally worked with but am simply an admirer. I might be nice enough to share...with a select day... : )

Also, I've made consideration to the "unknowns" that almost never fail to occur at any given wedding at about any given time; even to the most well-planned, well-organized (OCD, as my friends like to call it) bride. In other words, the "I-should-have-broughts", "didn't-think-about-thats", and "I-needs". I plan to note such things later in this blog. Maybe I'll think of some cute way to identify these items. Maybe highlight them or put some blinking nonsense next to them. Or, maybe just a simple list of must-have items I've learned through experience.

I'm sure I'm leaving off so much more but it will eventually make its way into this blog in some form or fashion. As for the rest, I plan to include some exceptionally sweet moments I observe, some really funny ones, some "oh my gosh, that didn't just happen" ones (those usually happen at weddings/receptions that serve something other than tea and punch!), some very creative weddings, as well as, some very poorly planned instances in which my favorite phrase those working close by hear often "I wouldn't have (insert choice of wedding faux pas here)...but, it's NOT my wedding".

Thus, the idea behind the "unofficial" bride blog.

At the end of the day, I have hopes for this blog to mostly be entertaining, slightly informative for the soon-to-be married folks, somewhat nostalgic for the old married folks, and we shall see what direction it may take from here.

Happy reading!

-the unofficial bride

(Disclaimer: All information expressed in this blog is purely of the writer's opinion)

PS, I'm open to suggestions, comments, feedback, etc. so leave me a message!